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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: The Law of Advertising and Commercial Speech (LAWS11375)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryIn substantive terms, students will be introduced to the role of law and regulation relating to advertising and commercial speech. They will be encouraged to think critically about the social, political and economic impact of advertising and the role of law in shaping this field. They will explore the human rights dimension and the public and private interests that underpin advertising law and regulation. The course will consider the interplay of self-regulation and statutory regulation and the role of EU law in shaping domestic rules. Students will also be encouraged to think about how rules are enforced and jurisdiction in an increasingly integrated international marketplace.

Advertising plays an important role in driving sales and providing consumer information, it has also been one of the main bases for funding the mass media. Advertising continues to evolve, however, and there are increasing concerns about surreptitious and 'native' advertising and the way in which information on consumers is aggregated and sold. In an increasingly online sales environment - who can we trust and what role should international organisations, states - and industry - play in protecting individuals and consumers?

Course description An indication of the structure of the course is as follows:

I The fundamentals

1. Introduction - What is advertising? An international and comparative legal perspective.
2. Advertising and the human rights framework
3. Advertising and the European legal framework

II A Closer Look at Key Regulatory Goals: Protecting Consumers and Competitors

4. Misleading advertising and consumer protection
5. Comparative Advertising and Passing off
6. Reading week

7. Surreptitious and Native Advertising
(student groups to confirm selected topics with course organiser by 4.00 Monday of this week)

III The regulation of online marketing - some emerging issues

8. Digital Marketing and Behavioural Advertising
9. Social Media and online games

IV A closer look at key areas or topical issues

10. Student research-led presentations
11. Student research-led presentations
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  28
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 4, Formative Assessment Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 4, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 166 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) There will be two summative assessments for this course:«br /»
«br /»
1. A group exercise. This will be worth 40% of the marks and all group members will receive the same mark. Students will be expected to prepare an oral presentation of no more than twenty minutes on a topic of their choice. This is to be agreed with the course organiser no later than the Monday of the Reading Week at 1600. Students are also to prepare no more than twelve powerpoint slides to accompany their presentation and a supporting written handout, detailing key issues and suggested reading materials. Students will be expected to manage the production of these various outputs and each component of the exercise-oral presentations, powerpoints and handouts will contribute equally to the final grade. The group exercises will take place in the final two seminars of the course.«br /»
«br /»
2. An essay on a topic of the student's choice, relating to the subject matter of the course. This will be worth the remaining 60% of the marks. The essay is to be no longer than 4,000 words long (excluding footnotes and bibliography). The essay is not to be on any of the topics presented for the group exercises but may be on a topic addressed in their formative exercise.«br /»
Feedback Feedback will be provided orally on student contributions during each seminar. Students will be given the opportunity to submit a research proposal as a formative exercise to be handed in no later than the Friday of the reading week at 1600 and written feedback will be provided on these proposals. Written feedback will be given on the group presentations and the final essays.

No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. draw on relevant legal materials and use these effectively to develop their legal reasoning;
  2. understand the application of the law in its wider social, economic and political context;
  3. evaluate and criticise the law, using a variety of legal, policy-based, and theoretical arguments;
  4. carry out legal research in the field, in part so that the knowledge and understanding gained may be applied and adapted in future; and
  5. draw on learned transferable skills: (a) communication skills, oral and in writing; (b) intellectual skills, of collecting, organising, evaluating, synthesising and presenting material and arguments; (c) general skills, in managing time, working independently, and taking responsibility for their own work; (d) skills of co-operation and planning within a group to produce a professional oral presentation
Reading List
Key texts include:
Giles Crown, Advertising Law and Regulation (Second Ed. Bloomsbury Professional, 2010)
Jan Oster, European and International Media Law (CUP: 2017), chapter 5
Barendt, Bosland, Craufurd Smith, Hitchens, Media Law: Text, Cases and Materials, (Pearson, 2014), chapter 6

Considerable material is also available online, in particular on the Europa and Advertising Standards Authority website.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The course will encourage in particular self-directed learning, autonomy and initiative, communication and analytical skills, and working together.
KeywordsAdvertising,Commercial Speech,Data Protection,Online Games,Freedom of Expression;
Course organiserDr Rachael Craufurd-Smith
Tel: (0131 6)50 2061
Course secretaryMs Florence Finlayson
Tel: (0131 6)50 9588
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